back to article Five new players – including Blue Origin and SpaceX – are now in NASA's race to send landers to the Moon

A total of 14 companies have now entered the race to develop landers to deliver goodies to the Moon as NASA plans to send the first woman and the next man to our nearest rocky companion by 2024. Five vendors joined the growing list on Monday, according to a media teleconference broadcast on NASA Live. Some of the most …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Pittsburg, Colorado, Houston, Texas, California

    I thought they were cities and states, not companies. How is an entire state developing Moon landers without an actual company or other entity to organize that ?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Pittsburg, Colorado, Houston, Texas, California

      Those are the locations of the companies.

      Like such: Company, Location, CompanyTwo, Location2, CompanyThree, Location3, etc.

      1. Def Silver badge

        Re: Pittsburg, Colorado, Houston, Texas, California

        When list items themselves contain commas, it's usually common practice to use semicolons to separate list items:

        company one, location; company two, location; etc, etc...

        You know, if you know how to write proper English like what I does. ;)

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Pittsburg, Colorado, Houston, Texas, California

          Well, yes.

        2. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Pittsburg, Colorado, Houston, Texas, California

          When list items themselves contain commas, it's usually common practice to use semicolons to separate list items:

          company one, location; company two, location; etc, etc...

          You know, if you know how to write proper English like what I does. ;)

          Perhaps the questionable use of English is a nod to the left-pondian nature of the subject matter

          1. John 104

            Re: Pittsburg, Colorado, Houston, Texas, California

            Don't get all bitter just because the UK has no skin in the game...

        3. RM Myers
          Happy

          Re: Pittsburg, Colorado, Houston, Texas, California

          I does to!

    2. Fungus Bob Silver badge

      Re: Pittsburg, Colorado, Houston, Texas, California

      "How is an entire state developing Moon landers without an actual company or other entity to organize that ?"

      Flash mob...

  2. STOP_FORTH
    Trollface

    Chump change

    2.6 billion dollars? This isn't the NASA we know and love.

    1. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: Chump change

      2.5Bn will buy you a complete Mars rover mission. e.g. Curiousity. So 2.6Bn is a bit more than pocket change. HOWEVER, It looks like you're probably right. This contract pool appears to be just for some bus tickets from Low Earth Orbit to on the ehrrr ... "ground" on the moon -- not the full missions. Perhaps someone who knows more can clarify what is being purchased, how many missions are involved, and what the full costs are likely to be

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Chump change

        ack, and every penny spent "gets something". NASA spending promotes technological growth, expands our understanding of science, and pays people to work.

        It's a GOOD thing. More of same.

      2. choleric

        Re: Chump change

        Not on SLS it won't. $2.6B would get you one launch on SLS. You'd have to find more cash to pay for what you wanted to launch.

        Reassuringly expensive.

        Or something.

    2. spold Silver badge

      Re: Chump change

      C'mon - remember that was previously just for the screwdriver. We have come a long way since then - now it is for the IKEA hex/Allen key. See Lönar Ländör - Aisle 23. Some assembly required.

  3. A K Stiles Silver badge
    Joke

    Blue Origin, Blue Moon...

    Let's just hope Jeff doesn't get into making adult movies!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Blue Origin, Blue Moon...

      Or waffles...

      1. MyffyW Silver badge

        Re: Blue Origin, Blue Moon...

        Or government-backed UFO investigations...

  4. Dom 3

    So they've already decided that the next landing will have a woman on board? Isn't that a bit sexist? From what I've read about NASA's female 'nauts, they want to be there on merit.

    Of course doing the *logical* thing - factoring in body mass, food consumption etc - would most likely lead to an all-female crew, but that ain't happening either.

    1. Synkronicity

      How is that sexist? I'm pretty sure all of NASA's female astronauts think they're just as qualified to go to the Moon as their male colleagues. Might as well cross "first female on the Moon" off the milestone list since we have no other real mission goals except to feel good about American potential again.

      1. F111F
        Megaphone

        Entitlement or Achievement

        The problem with pre-determining the gender of mission personnel is that they didn't get the position via quality of work, but their glands... It also predetermines that only one of the crew will be female, when the two best-qualified might both be female.

        Let the men and women of NASA compete equally for all positions and hang their gender.

    2. rsole

      Or an all children crew :)

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. jake Silver badge

        "Or an all children crew"

        Of course! And because all children are equal, we can choose the crew at random and dispense with astronaut training completely! Think of the money we'll save!

      3. Stryker007

        Calmn down epstein :D

    3. Public Citizen

      If they were seriously factoring such considerations into the mix then the future pool of astronauts would be noticeably smaller in stature than the test pilot hero's who made up the early Astronaut Corps. The only place that the extra "muscle" would be an advantage is for the payload specialists and mechanical engineers doing the building and maintenance on space borne structures.

      Our "hero's" going forward would not be the broad shouldered, lantern jawed,above average height types but men and women of small stature, average or slightly below.

      1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

        Robo-hamsternauts would be lighter, not need feeding or waste disposal and, being shorter in stature than the average astronaut, would be able to study the regolith more easily without causing back problems - better all around.

        However, to deal with the unknown they would need some heavy autonomous processing abilities - probably based on AI, Hold up! Wasn't one of the bidders a specialist in AI? It all makes sense now,

        "We're going to land the first robo-hamsternauts on the moon!"

    4. MyffyW Silver badge

      I think 5' 5" curvy 40-somethings should be at the head of the queue.

  5. Claverhouse Silver badge

    The CLPS contracts have a total combined value of a $2.6bn. The 14 companies in the pool will be allowed to bid for contracts, and NASA will award them based on technical capabilities, price, and schedule.

    Other US companies in the competitive pool, include Astrobotic Technology, Pittsburgh, Deep Space Systems, Colorado, Draper, Massachusetts, Firefly Aerospace, Texas, Intuitive Machines, Houston, Lockheed Martin Space, Colorado, Masten Space Systems, California, Moon Express, Florida and Orbit Beyond, New Jersey. ®

    Obviously, considering The American State's libertarian deep devotion to awarding on merit without nationalist favouritism, it will be nice when NASA selects non-American firms for the contracts.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The NATIONAL Aeronautics and Space Adminiatration isn't something I'd expect to be full of international contractors...

      1. STOP_FORTH
        Alien

        Houbris

        Who told 'em they could administer space?

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

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